Work has started this week to develop Knockmany Forest, a few miles outside Augher, as part of investment in the site made possible through funding of £265,000 provided by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs; Sport NI and Mid Ulster District Council.

The Council is working to deliver the capital project in partnership with Eskra Community Association and the Forest Service, which will develop Knockmany Forest as an outdoor facility hub with the aim of promoting and developing participation in sport and outdoor physical recreation.

The investment will lead to improved recreational trim trails, site access, signage and paths, together with improved visitor facilities in a brand new building containing meeting spaces, kitchen and toilets.

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Sean McPeake welcomed the investment in the area, saying, “The importance of forests and green spaces in providing ‘on their doorstep’ outdoor recreational opportunities for the local community, and consequently the direct benefits that this brings in terms of improvements in health and well-being, social capital and the protection of our natural resources, cannot be underestimated.”

“Once complete, these capital works delivered through a genuine community led partnership approach will increase provision for sports and outdoor recreation. They will act as a platform to create social, recreational, tourism and economic benefits for the Mid Ulster area. Eskra Community Association are to be commended for the many voluntary hours they have spent to bring this ambitious project to fruition.”

Photographed: (L-R): Julie McCann, Sport NI; Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Sean McPeak, and Ciaran McLaughlin, DAERA.